Financial and risk advisory firm, Deloitte Ghana has proposed for the government to implement appropriate checks needed to avoid excessive pre-election expenditure.
According to a report by the firm in response to the 2020 mid-year budget review, this will help the country avoid the vicious cycle of excessive spending in election years which could lengthen the economic recovery period post-COVID-19 pandemic.
“In order to avoid excessive pre-election expenditure by government in 2020, the government needs to implement appropriate checks to manage government expenditure. This will help the country avoid the vicious cycle of excessive spending in election years which could lengthen the economic recovery period post-COVID-19,” the report suggested.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and others have been looking out for signs of excessive spending, something incumbents have done in the past.
Ghana ended its 16th bailout program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 2019 with the government earlier pledging to maintain fiscal discipline.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta in his budget presentation before Parliament in November last year assured that government will not overspend its budget during the upcoming 2020 December elections.
“In spite of the year being an election year, let me repeat that President Akufo-Addo and his government would ensure that the perennial excessive spending during such periods will not happen in 2020. We shall work within the 2020 appropriated resource envelope and adhere to the Fiscal Responsibility Act to maintain fiscal discipline. We would do so because the nation needs it,” the Finance Minister earlier said.
Though the government says it has provided the Electoral Commission (EC) with all the resources to conduct a free and fair general election, some policy think-tanks such as IMANI Africa have questioned the amount given out to the Commission for its activities.
With the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) seeking a second term in office, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is also gearing up to make a return to power when Ghana goes to the polls on December 7, 2020.
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